It is common and understandable to want to put a bad loss behind one as quickly as possible. For that reason, it is probably good that the St. Louis Cardinals have a Thursday afternoon game following their 15-0 drubbing at the hands of San Francisco Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Yet, as the 2012 Cardinals fight to try to gain a spot in the post-season, I wondered if there could be any possible correlation between one very big loss and the season overall.
Being only one game of 162, it certainly seems unlikely. On the other hand, do very good clubs ever have a mulligan of this magnitude?
In the table below are the worst 17 single-game losses in team history, as measured by run differential of 15 runs or more. They are selected regardless of location or date (and provided courtesy of researcher Tom Orf).
Worst single-game losses, run differential, St. Louis Cardinals, team history
|17||1936-08-25 (1)||BSN||H||L 3-20||9||25||20||18||5||3||0||no|
|15||1936-07-29 (1)||BRO||A||L 7-22||8||21||22||17||7||4||0||no|
Wednesday night’s game was the second-worst shutout in team history, and the worst shutout in a half century, whether home or away. The record remains a 19-0 whitewashing administered by the Pirates on August 3, 1961.
In only one year did two losses of 15 or more runs occur. That was back in 1936.
Just twice in the 15 seasons in which one of these defeats occurred did the club go on to make the post-season. That was in 1967 and 1985. Both teams reached the World Series, with the former winning.
The other 22 of 24 Cardinals post-season clubs in team history avoided absorbing any losses of 15 runs or more.
Of course, 2012 remains “TBD.”